Free prenatal and reproductive health check-ups will be further expanded around the country this year to cover 80 percent of the target area, according to Li Bin, Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Li, also an NPC delegate, made the remarks Sunday on the sidelines of the ongoing two sessions.
"Such efforts aim to further improve health of women and infants and to avert birth defects," she said.
To facilitate the goal, grass-root efforts will be further strengthened to improve the health of women and children and there will be better consolidation of technical services, she added.
In addition, a special campaign, the Year of Health for Children and Women, will be launched within a year, she said.
Latest statistics from the commission show that more than 14 out of every 1,000 newborns in China suffer from birth defects of varied kinds.